Effective Shadowing

Hello, my scrapping pals!

Today I wanted to touch on the importance of realistic shadowing on your pages.

I have been scrapping since 2006 and when I look back on those first pages I made I sort of cringe when I see my shadow work!!  I definitely think creating and using shadows is something that gets better the longer you scrap.

I scrap with Corel Paint Shop Pro and use four “sizes” of shadows for the majority of my pages, however; I tweak them here and there a needed.  To get an idea of how I use each shadow – I use the smallest shadow on elements like stitching, doilies and cropped or stacked papers.  The next smallest is used on the photo(s) on my layout.  The medium shadow is used on buttons, some flowers and some leaves.  The largest shadow is what I use on flowers and ribbon.  When I add a shadow to a string, I change the opacity and the blur – increasing the opacity and decreasing the blur.  Doing so gives the element a more realistic feel.

I used the shadows listed above for this page that I have created using Amber’s Blush Kit.


I duplicated the shadows on each flower on the layout below.  By doing so, the flowers are more realistic – more 3D.


Creative team member Stacia shares her thoughts on shadows:

To me, one of the fun parts of digital scrapbooking is trying to make the page feel as realistic as possible. Shadowing is a big part of that process. I started using a couple of sets of purchased shadows but then finally created a set of my own shadows that I liked pretty well. Then I took a class on shadowing (mind blown!) and expanded my own techniques after that. I take 3 to 6 elements on the page and give them some extra treatment, usually more dimensional ones, ones with more detail or ones that would be more uniquely shadowed on a paper page. I separate the shadows onto their own layer, duplicate the shadow layer, apply a gaussian blur to the top shadow layer and reduce the fill to anywhere between 4 and about 20 depending on the depth and richness of the shadow I’m trying to accentuate. I nudge the top shadow layer a little bit down and to the left because of my shadowing angle. Then I adjust if it’s too dark or not dark enough. If I’m really feeling frisky, I’ll warp that top shadow on a ribbon or string.

Here is Stacia’s page without extra shadowing:image2

And here’s the page she created using her “pumped up shadows”.image1

The elements (from Amber’s St. Nicholas Kit and Papers) really shine after she’s applied that extra “umph” of shadows!

It’s fun to change-up shadow settings … and really, the sky is the limit.  The idea is to make the items on your page look and feel as realistic as possible.  Once you find the “perfect shadow”, jot down the settings for future use, or better yet, set them up with a script.

I hope you found this info useful – many thanks for stopping by!!

Until next time, happy scrapping!!




I have been scrapping since 2006 and have really enjoyed watching the industry grow to where it is today! I have thousands of photos stashed away in boxes and many more saved on EHD’s – so when I retire (I see the light!!) I will have plenty of pictures to scrap to stay occupied! In the meantime, I’ll continue growing my collection with photos of our two beautiful grandbabies!

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